Today I leave the friends who have become my family and the city that has become my home for the last 17 years.
I remember when I first moved to Louisville…August 22, 1997. It was not an easy adjustment for me. My hometown was only five hours north, but it was a very different culture here in Louisville than I was used to. I remember driving to my job at the School of Music at U of L in the mornings and thinking “I hate it here….it’s so daunting, I don’t know anyone, I feel so alone.” How things have changed. I have lived in Louisville longer than anyplace in my life…even longer than I lived in my hometown. I’ve learned what a special place this is, and why Louisvillians are so attached to this city. Just a few months ago I distinctly remember saying to someone at the YMCA “I will NEVER leave Louisville.”
Never say never.
The past month I’ve said so many goodbyes….I’ve said goodbye to my lovely little house at 318 Iola Road. I’ve said goodbye to my job at Kentucky Opera, where I worked for 15 years, meeting and collaborating with amazing and talented people creating excellent opera productions. Thursday I said goodbye to my fabulous and dedicated class at the Norton Commons YMCA, who would enthusiastically undertake whatever impossible ass-kicking workout I could throw at them and leave with sweaty smiles on their faces and return for more, usually dragging friends and spouses in tow. Friday and Saturday I said goodbye to my Derby City Crossfit family, my sanctuary and happy place, without whom I would have never found my best friend ever and discovered my true calling and passion as a coach. I also said goodbye to VOICES of Kentuckiana, with whom I have traveled a long, varied, and sometimes rocky road….serving as singer, section leader, board member, board chair, assistant and guest Artistic Director. VOICES gave me an opportunity for growth as a musician, teacher, and leader, and provided me with the most supportive and loving friends and family I could ask for. I’ve said goodbye to my best friends and past loves. It has been heart-wrenching and I’ve cried more the past two weeks than I care to remember, thinking about how much I will miss all those dear to my heart. But no matter how sad and scary this is, I refer back to the quote which heads this post, and I have absolute faith that having the courage to say goodbye and to let go will lead me to a new and incredible chapter of my life.
I came across this lovely song completely by chance a couple of months ago. It immediately brought me to tears since it so accurately states what the Universe has been telling me. I share it with you all.